Deputy secretary-general of the ANC Jessie Duarte speaks to the media outside the Phoenix plaza, north of Durban. Picture: Jehran Naidoo/Independent Media
Deputy secretary-general of the ANC Jessie Duarte speaks to the media outside the Phoenix plaza, north of Durban. Picture: Jehran Naidoo/Independent Media

ANC’s Duarte slams “colonial DA” over controversial poster

By Jehran Naidoo Time of article published Oct 7, 2021

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Durban – With the country’s local government elections next month, deputy secretary-general of the ANC Jessie Duarte on Thursday slammed the DA for its controversial election campaign poster in Phoenix, north of Durban, an area that was engulfed by the violence during the unrest in July.

Duarte said the DA’s move to use racism as a means to attract voters undermined the people that lost their lives in Phoenix when riots broke out over the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma.

She was speaking to the media outside the Phoenix Plaza.

“It was disappointing for us as the ANC to see this poster that has caused quite a lot of debate in the country. For us, that poster is not actually anything new,” she said.

“Over the last 30 years the DA has in every campaign had a fight back campaign and they have brought forward their colonial mentality of divide and rule as they’ve done in the Western Cape and they hope that they can use race as a mechanism to get people to vote for them,” Duarte said.

“The same thing that happened in Phoenix did not happen all over KZN and Gauteng. So I cannot help the DA in their colonial mentality, that’s something they are going to have to work out on their own.”

The poster also received backlash from the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, who said the poster depicted crass racism and misrepresented the events that took place during the unrest in Phoenix.

The foundation said the poster was aimed to suit “narrow political gains” rather than uniting communities.

“The poster incorrectly ascribes heroes and presumably villain status to whole groups of people. Simply put, its (DA’s) poster can be read to say that all Africans were looters and all Indians were heroes. This is far from the truth as subsequent reports have already indicated,” the foundation said.

The DA’s KZN chairperson Dean Macpherson, who initially defended the poster, issued an apology on Thursday and said that the posters would be removed.

“As these posters were unsanctioned by the DA leader, party structures and party campaign leadership, I am arranging the removal of these posters today. Sometimes in politics our words may be poorly chosen, but I wish to assure the public, without contradiction, that my intentions are always sincere,” Macpherson said.

Duarte was also seen speaking to the party’s support base in eThekwini, the largest metropolitan area in the province, handing out ANC flyers to community members while accompanied by ward 50 candidate Sharon Munien.

A community member from Phoenix takes a selfie with ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte. Picture: Jehran Naidoo/Independent Media.

Excited community members also stopped for their photo opportunity with the ANC veteran.

“Primarily our focus as the ANC, and it has been consistent over the last 30 years, is that our task is transforming our country to eradicate poverty, unemployment and inequality and that’s the most important thing we have to do. In order to do that we have to unite the people of South Africa,” Duarte said.

Political Bureau

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